Officials to test care workers, helpers for virus - RTHK
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Officials to test care workers, helpers for virus

2020-08-09 HKT 11:14
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  • Law Chi-kwong says officials will implement a new round of testing for nursing home staff. File photo: RTHK
    Law Chi-kwong says officials will implement a new round of testing for nursing home staff. File photo: RTHK
The Social Welfare Department says it plans to conduct Covid-19 tests on thousands of workers at nursing homes, homes for the elderly and rehabilitation centres for the second time in less than a month.

Secretary for Labour and Welfare Law Chi-kwong made the announcement on his blog on Sunday after a series of virus cases at various homes across the SAR.

The department previously offered tests to more than 32,000 workers between July 14 and August 4. Of these, 86 per cent sent a sample back. Although only one person tested positive, Law said this did not reflect the full story, as two other care workers had been diagnosed earlier.

"Although the staff of the institutions themselves are not considered to be a high-risk group, if they bring the virus into the institutions and the frail residents are infected, the consequences will be serious," he wrote.

Officials also plan to send doctors to homes to give staff advice on infection control and would look at ways to improve ventilation.

Law also said he was drafting legislative amendments with a view to improving supervision of private care homes.

Meanwhile the Labour Department said it would begin offering free testing for foreign domestic helpers who are staying at boarding facilities provided by employment agencies from Sunday.

Two helpers staying at boarding houses were diagnosed with the virus last week.